Wow, where do I begin? Once I set foot in CdA, Idaho, it didn't seem real that a year ago, I was there racing! This year, I wasn't racing but I sure ate like I was going to! Lots of calories were consumed.. junk food as well! Mike, Nicky, Coach, Nicky's Mum, Mark, Nicola and myself stayed at a house that was 3 miles away from the race area in Fernan Lake... needless to say it was an entertaining household!
Aside from the role of sherpa, I was also able to volunteer as a bike marshal. Tricia got me in touch with Jimmy, the head referee, and it was an experience that I was glad to have had! I met up in the race marshal area a little after 6am.. my motorbike guy and I were scheduled to set out at 8:30am. They send a motor bike out after about every 100 or so AGers start the bike course. Being on the motor bike gave me a totally different perspective on IM racing. My duty was to give out penalties anytime I saw fit. I gave out a total of 6. One for going over the center yellow line, one for passing on the right and the rest for drafting. The ones who received drafting penalties accepted it with no contest. The guy who went over the yellow line was trying to plead his case which even included the line, "you ruined my race!" No buddy, I didn't ruin your race! The guy who I gave a penalty to for passing on the right, "how are you supposed to pass?" ON THE LEFT!! Seriously?? There were a bunch of other close calls but for the most part, I was hoping that if my motorbike guy and I rode up next to a suspicious bunch.. that they'd spread themselves out which for the most part they did. I learned that refs never really want to give penalties out but when cheating or violation of the rules are blatantly in front of them.. gotta do it!
On to my favorite part of the day... seeing Mike finish his 1st Ironman!! He had 2 flats and a crash when a volunteer called a truck out to traffic not seeing that Mike was coming through. Mike avoided the truck but into the ditch instead. Like Mike, he didn't panic, got himself together and finished his 1st IM in 11:20:19.
Next morning... we signed up for Ironman Coeur d'Alene 2011!